The Englewood Campus — home of Englewood High School — at 3800 S. Logan St. will host a number of activities honoring veterans on May 28.
This is the third year for the Englewood ceremony, scheduled for the day before Memorial Day, and organizer Kay Howard said she feels it gets better every year.
“We started talking about a memorial to honor all veterans, particularly those from Englewood, at the high school about 2011. It was great that then-superintendent Brian Ewert and former EHS teacher Jonathan Fore were so supportive of placing the memorial at the school,” the 1959 Englewood High School graduate said. “Honoring veterans has been a passion of mine. After all, what greater mission can there be than paying tribute to our veterans?”
She said this year, Vietnam veterans will be honored.
“This is the proper thing to do,” the Castle Rock resident said. “It is time to set the record straight. Vietnam veterans are heroes just like our veterans who fought in all wars. A lot of people turned their backs on vets when they returned from Vietnam. We want this to be a long-overdue welcome home for them.”
The May 28 activities begin at 1:30 pm. at the memorial outside the campus buildings. The New York 79th Highlander bagpipers will play for visitors to the memorial.
The focus then shifts to Fisher Auditorium inside the high school. Displays in the lobby include the pictures and short bios of 21 Englewood residents who lost their lives in service to the country.
The two-hour program inside the auditorium begins at 2 p.m. with several speakers and a time to honor veterans. At 4 p.m. the ceremony will again move outside to the memorial where two Gold Star families will be presented folded American flags. A Gold Star family is a family that lost a loved one in a war. The Joe Peterson Orchestra will provide martial and period music during the program.
The Rolling Thunder advocacy group will perform a missing-man ceremony, an honor bell will toll for the fallen, there will be a 21-gun salute and a bugler will play "Taps."
Englewood High School is the only school in Colorado and one of very few around the country with a memorial honoring veterans on the campus. The centerpiece of the Englewood memorial is a pentagon-shaped 6,000-pound stone from a quarry in Lyons. The bronze seals of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard are attached to the memorial.
The memorial is surrounded by stone pavers that have been purchased by individuals, families and organizations as a tribute to a service member.
“I had relatives in the service and just felt we need to do something in our community to honor Englewood veterans,” Howard said. “It took me about five years to raise the funds for the memorial. A lot of people worked hard to make the idea a reality. It was an honor to watch the memorial being installed in 2014 and to be part of the dedication ceremonies in 2015.”